State Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring says the USDA has denied North Dakota’s request to immediately allow emergency haying on reserved land.
Earlier this week, Goehring announced he asked the federal agency to allow for haying on land enrolled in the Conservation Reserve Program.
The start date for haying on that land in North Dakota is Aug. 1, but earlier haying would help livestock producers maintain more of the nutritional quality of the hay.
Goehring says it would greatly help producers make it through the state’s severe drought. He says he learned of the denial this morning from his staff who heard the news from the state Farm Service Agency.
“I just found out a few hours ago that the request was denied. I’m not sure why. I know there’s a lot of confusion and some upset producers, and I understand,” Goehring said. “This drought seems to be a little worse in impacting a larger area of North Dakota than previous droughts, and yet, in previous droughts and emergencies, there’s been an allowance.”
Goehring says he plans to follow up with both the FSA office and USDA secretary for the reason behind the denial. He noted that the denial is odd considering sportsmen, wildlife and conservation groups supported it.